The Hare, Darby Delphinium, left his burrow at dawn. Facing the strong early March wind, he jumped down the path to meet his best friend, Darcy, at the bottom of the meadow. The two "Phins" hopped over melting snow and brown oak leaves, vestiges of a dying winter. When they crested the hill and leapt into the garden, sunlight broke through the clouds. The air gentled. Hopping along, ears and whiskers twitching, Darby and Darcy both marveled at the snowdrops, croccus, and primroses. Indeed, spring was ripening.

(Excerpt from "Watership Down" by Richard Adams)

"One chilly, blustery morning in March, I cannot tell exactly how many springs later, rabbit Hazel was dozing and waking in his burrow. He had spent a good deal of time there lately, for he felt the cold and could not seem to smell or run so well as in the days gone by. He had been dreaming in a confused way - something about rain and elder bloom - when he woke to realize that there was a rabbit lying quietly beside him - no doubt some young buck who had come to ask his advice. He raised his head and said, 'Do you want to talk to me?'

'Yes, that's what I've come for,' replied the other. 'You know me, don't you?'

'Yes, of course,' said Hazel, hoping he would be able to remember his name in a moment. Then he saw that in the darkness of the burrow the stranger's ears were shining with a faint silver light. 'Yes, my lord, he said. 'Yes, I know you.'

'You've been feeling tired,' said the stranger, but I can do something about that. I've come to ask whether you'd care to join my Owsla. We shall be glad to have you. If you're ready, we might go along now.''

He reached the top of the bank in a single, powerful leap. Hazel followed; and together they slipped away, running easily down through the wood, where the first primroses were beginning to bloom."

(la fin from Atlanta, Georgia, USA & the southern countryside, England - Earth)